Dora Grote, Kuder's director of training and professional services, shares key takeaways from interactions she's had with clients about the impact coaching has had on their lives.
In addition to leading our Kuder Coach team, you serve as a career coach yourself. Can you tell us a little about the types of people you've worked with through the years?
We’ve had the pleasure of working with hundreds of clients, including adults from all walks of life and at various life stages and situations, and secondary students in grades 10 through 12.
What would you say is the real value of career coaching?
Working with a career coach in a one-on-one discussion generates a partnership to personal college and career planning. The personalized conversation is a catalyst for action planning directly related to your needs. In addition, a career coach helps connect to resources, like scholarships and creative financial aid options, helping pay for college with less obligation to student loans. The value of knowing what you want to do and how to do it is return on investment enough, but imagine finding a way to pay for college without debt?
When you follow up with clients, what do they say about the impact that coaching has had on their lives?
I can share my passion about coaching any time, but hearing about positive outcomes directly from our clients proves the power of career coaching. Our clients have shared that working with a career coach has improved confidence and provided hope for the future. In addition, each client walks away with a set of actions to help them reach their goals. The central themes can be broken down into three parts:
- A career coach is a partner for personalized college and career planning.
- Working with a career coach provides concrete guidance.
- Career coaching provides focus, encouragement, and action.
What's your approach to coaching?
Our coaches don't follow a rehearsed script, but rather they work to foster a dynamic working relationship to support making a difference in your life. Coaches help take the information from the Kuder™ Career Planning System® (KCPS) and provide applicable and personal steps to understanding and using the information.
One of our clients, Monique* said,
“It's like having someone there by your side, step-by-step, and someone you can questions to and answer them, and someone who is interested in what you have to do to go to school and do what you want with your life.”
What kinds of things do you cover in a typical career coaching session, or does it depend on the client?
Not only is coaching personalized, it provides real guidance to make decisions on financial aid, major selection, college comparisons, and job preparedness. First we discuss general interests together and then narrow those down by reviewing and interpreting assessment results.
The client takes the Kuder assessment results and identify occupations, jobs, and careers and then connect to schools and training that would fast track results. In addition, we work on resumes, cover letters, interview skills, and portfolios together. Because each session is personalized, we work together on the resources and information that fits the situation and the person. It isn't a generic process but rather an informative and highly focused session keeping the needs of the individual in mind at all times.
What do you say to people who think coaching is a waste of time or money?
A career coach provides personalized plans to make progress toward your personalized goals. Plans include concrete information that actually helps you make strides in your life while providing focus, encouragement, and action in your career, college plans, or job searches. Qualified and experienced coaches – like those on the Kuder Coach team, who have had formal training in career theory and career advising – provide you with excellent resources so you have concrete information to help you make short- and long-term decisions and gain comfort in all that comes with planning for high school electives, college courses, and job searches. Again, I think our clients say it best.
One high school client, Monica,* shared:
“[The coach] has a lot of information that I can’t really get at home, and just a lot of experience leading me in the right direction [about] different scholarships and how to get there. I don’t usually know where to start first on my own. What steps to go career-wise. We also did some comparisons of salaries and stuff like that. When I find out what I want to do and what kind of field it is it shows me the percentage of unemployment and stuff like that. Just in case I want to you know second guess or you know I don’t want to hop on something too soon.”
Another high school client, Ben,* shared:
“ … it influenced me in a way that I need to get down to business now and to start planning for the road ahead now, looking at different colleges, and start job shadowing other people.”
What are some of the most pressing issues that clients need the most support with in a coaching session?
Typically, clients come to us for support in their planning for work, college, or high school. These are things that can feel overwhelming, which leads to indecision and lack of action. A coach helps with decision-making, self-awareness, and achievable actions that provide focus in the right place at the right time.
Can you give us some examples of the kinds of things you've addressed during your coaching sessions?
Sure! Samantha*, a high school student, had trouble focusing and felt like giving up until she worked with a coach to help with focus and action. She said,
“I actually try harder, I don’t just give up. Like, I’m really bad at math and normally I would just give up without trying. But, I’m actually trying now and I don’t just quit when I get something wrong or don’t do it right. Keeping me updated on everything really helped me stay on track. She had me write down a bucket list and all of that.”
Monique*, an adult client, needed someone to believe in her and provide guidance that led to action doing what she loved. She shared,
“It was kind of like talking to a best friend and she was there to talk to me about what I wanted to do, and she seemed like she believed in me and she was really nice. Her confidence in me stood out. She didn't talk down at me, but she just guided me into the process of doing what I love.”
Do you offer trial sessions for people who are interested in career coaching, but aren't sure if it's right for them?
Yes! For those who would like to experience career coaching without any obligation, it's easy to connect with a Kuder Coach.
*All client names have been changed to protect privacy.